Sunday, 19 October 2008

Steamed chocolate sponge pudding and chocolate sauce

I’d like to start with a very pleasing photo:

The Universe works in mysterious ways, and – as I learned this week - often for good. Recently I have been yearning for the chocolate sponge and chocolate custard that was a regular feature of school dinners in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Then, Nigella Christmas arrived containing a recipe for a far fancier version. I admit that the book wasn’t really much to do with the Universe, more my personal view that a day without an Amazon package arriving is a bad day. Anyway, such omens could not be ignored – the Universe was clearly telling me to make my chocolate pudding.

Most people nowadays steam puddings by standing the basin in a pan of boiling water. I prefer the old fashioned method of standing the pudding over the water. The CCM (Caked Crusader’s Ma) has a cast iron – I think it’s Victorian – pan that has been handed down through the family and is perfect for the task as the capacity is so great that there’s no need to top up the water level mid-steam. Just to the left you will spot a saucepan full of cabbage – I left that in to prove that we don’t live solely on cake:

The pudding turned out perfectly:

Oh my word. It’s hard to think what to write about this. I have a passionate weakness for steamed sponge puddings – the sponge always seems so light that the laws of physics are defied. The thick, glossy chocolate sauce is irresistible and the work of minutes.

Who wants some of this moist, chocolate, light sponge and sinful sauce?

Sauce or custard? I recommend both. The CCB (Caked Crusader’s Brother) reckoned there was a yin and yang vibe going on here; he had a point - I certainly felt a sense of harmony and well being whilst eating this:

For the sauce (this can be made in advance and reheated when required):
125g milk chocolate, broken up into squares
125g plain chocolate, broken up into squares
250ml double cream
75g golden syrup
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the pudding:
175g plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
40g cocoa powder
175g caster sugar
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
60ml plain yoghurt
3 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

How to make:

- Start by making the chocolate sauce. If kept refrigerated, it can be made up to a week in advance and simply reheated when required.
- Place all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and melt over a low heat. Stir the mixture occasionally to ensure that no lumps remain. Either serve straight away or decant to a bowl and leave to cool. Refrigerate when cool.
- Now make the pudding: generously butter a 1.7 litre (that’s 3 pints for those of you working in old money!) boil proof plastic pudding basin and lid.
- In your steamer, ensure that you have enough boiling water to come halfway up the basin. However, I used a steamer basket, so my sponge didn’t sit in the water. Both ways work just as well.
- Put all the pudding ingredients into a food processor and blitz until the ingredients are well combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared basin and level the surface.
- Clip the lid onto the basin and then wrap the basin tightly in foil to ensure that no water can get in.
- Steam for a minimum of 1 ½ hours. I gave mine nearer 2 hours and it did no harm at all.
- When ready to serve, remove the basin’s foil and lid (careful for steam burns – it’s very hot) and put a lipped plate on top. Invert both plate and basin, and give it a slight shake until you feel the pudding is released.
- Reheat the chocolate sauce and either pour over the pudding, hence the lipped plate, or put in a jug for people to serve themselves.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Holler said...

You are killing me here CC! That sponge looks amazing! I want some right now, I am drooling over it :)

anudivya said...

Pleasing? That is insanely lovely..Why do you have to do this to me on a Sunday morning!

glamah16 said...

Mamam Mia that pudding is heavenly. How lucky you are to have that cast iron pan. I treasure mine from my mother. Nothing beats them. Glad you get your veggies in between all that decadent cake.

April said...

Oh save some of that for me please! (but can I have mine with cream please!)

April xx

Cherie said...

Oh my. Either I'm hallucinating or that chocolate sponge, sauce & custard are calling my name... CC, you are ruining my waistline! (Keep it up, please :)

Big Boys Oven said...

Lovely, awesomely chocolat! a mouth full dessert you have there so yummy delicious!

Maria said...

Oh my! That looks heavenly! I need a spoon and a big bite:)

Margaret said...

Trust me I don't want some - I want the whole lot!!!
The pudding looks wonderful.

Rosie said...

oooh T.C.C. what a treat to the eye a magnificent choccie pud and sauce this is pure comfort food at its best!

Rosie x

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

Oh man! That looks amazing! So soft and light! I love the old fashioned equipment! That's something to keep for the long haul! Looks delicious and I'm sure it was!

Katie said...

Ohh that looks delicious. Custard and choc sauce for me please. I very rarely made a proper steamed pudding, but I have a craving for one now.

Y said...

Pleasing photo? Talk about understatement! I'm drooling just looking at it :)

Cakelaw said...

I love steamed pud, and this one looks exceptional - give me some of that chocolate custard!!

Dee said...

I do, I do!
I'm a little disappointed about the cabbage - you mean, woman cannot live on sweets alone? The pud looks amazing and right up our alley.

Emiline said...

OH MAN! The pudding looks so moist and delicious! I've got to have some.

We Are Never Full said...

I just had to wipe dribble off my chin . that looks sinful.

Swati said...

Oh WOW..thats all I can think and say... Sinful as so many have said before me here...


alicesg said...

Oh my! This looked so delicious. Can I have some? yummy.

Anne said...

I can't get over how good this looks! Thanks for posting it.

n33ma said...

ohhhhhh those pics look so good.....I have to give this a try and since I'm not too much of a baker I hope this turns out well.

Anonymous said...

dang! I have been thinking of my old school dinners and the same chocolate puds and sauce! I live in the US now and miss the stuff of my youth!!

thankyou, thankyou, thankyou! I know what Iwill be making this weekend! the way....sauce is a beverage, right? never met a sauce, custard or gravy I didn't like by the gallon!

erindors said...

I made this sponge last Thursday - and again last Sunday. As I write this I can hear my pan bubbling away nicely. Thank you for making an old lady happy. The sauce is perfect with bananas and on pancakes (if, that is, you go to the fridge and don't find an empty container.)
Good stuff, thanks again

Anonymous said...

looks yummy, i'm going to try it on my g/children this w/end,

Jo Koz said...

Have to say this looks absolutely b****y fantastic and you have just solved my pudding problem for tonight!

Anonymous said...

OMG - made this today as a trial run for Christmas Day (no-one here likes Christmas Pud) and it is utterly divine :) - thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Thankyou - a fabulous pudding

Rebecca said...

Tempted by the photo, I've just cooked two of these puds for a local luncheon club which prepares a meal once a month for older villagers. Lots of compliments!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Rebecca

I am delighted to hear they were appreciated - particularly by such a discerning audience!

Happy baking

Miss Pretty Puff said...

Hi CC! Last night I tried out your pudding recipe and it was divine. I hope you can take a look at my pics and blog post!
Much love,